I need your help. I co-founded the Prison Policy Initiative to put the problem of mass incarceration — and the perverse incentives that fuel it — on the national agenda. Over the last 15 years, our campaigns have protected our democracy from the prison system and the poorest families in this country from the predatory prison telephone industry. Our reports untangle the statistics and recruit new allies.

But now, more than ever, we need your help to put data & compassion into the conversation.

Thank you.
—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate
Pie chart showing how the money spent on calls gets divided between fees, commissions and other charges.

Data Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek has estimated that the prison phone industry does $1.2 billion in business every year. (Todd Shields, Prison Phones Prove Captive Market for Private Equity, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (October 4, 2012)) Considering the speed at which pre-paid accounts are overtaking collect calls, we estimate that 90% of the market is now in pre-paid accounts. We then applied Global Tel*Link’s fee structure (as described in Tables 3 and 5 of Please Deposit All of Your Money: Kickbacks, Rates and Hidden Fees in the Jail Phone Industry. (Graph: Prison Policy Initiative, 2013)

This graph originally appeared in Please Deposit All of Your Money: Kickbacks, Rates and Hidden Fees in the Jail Phone Industry.

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